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Twelfth Night - Live at the Target CD (album) cover


Twelfth Night



4.00 | 50 ratings

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4 stars An instrumental live album made just before influential vocalist Geoff Mann joined the band, 'Live At The Target' is one of Twelfth Night's most impressive and overtly progressive releases. By this point the band was made up of Brian Devoil(drums), Andy Revell(guitar), Rick Battersby(keyboards) and Clive Mitten(bass), and the four extended pieces they rattle through on this tightly-performed set show just what an un-compromising and ambitious live act Twelfth Night were in the early days of their sadly truncated career. Recorded in Reading circa 1981, 'Live At The Target' features a seminal version of one of the band's all- time fan favourites in the shape of the epic, 20-minute plus track 'Sequences', which takes up the entire second side of vinyl. Despite the fact that Geoff Mann would add vocals to 'Sequences' after joining the band several months later, the track seems ideally suited to the instrumental medium, giving each member time and space to shine. Keyboardist Battersby seems to be the dominant force throughout both 'Sequences' and the album, particularly on the excellent 'After The Eclipse' and it's equally impressive follow-on track 'East To West', demonstrating his penchant for haunting synth-and-keyboard melodies that give the album a mysterious and atmospheric overall sound. The only slghtly disappointing aspect is the fact that Andy Revell's lead guitar sometimes get's lost in the keyboard-and-bass heavy mix, but to be frank, it doesn't really detract from what is a thoroughly entertaining slice of early neo-prog. 'Live At The Target' may feature just four tracks, but each one is a compelling and carefully-crafted affair, with the lack of vocals bringing out the best in all four musicians. After their excellent 1982 studio album 'Fact & Fiction', 'Live At The Target' is Twelfth Night's next best release, charting the bands early development from punk-edged new wave art-rockers to fully-blown purveyors of epic neo-prog. Fans of Twelfth Night rate this surprisingly well-recorded mini live album very highly, and followers of early IQ, Marillion, Abel Ganz and Genesis will find much to admire. Copies of the most recent CD reissue are now incredibly hard to find but original vinyl copies, that contain a genuinely excellent recording quality, are not. Those with a bit of patience, however, will be glad to hear that, following the band's recent definitive edition remastering of their original tape album 'Smiling At Grief' and their 1984 mini-album 'Art & Illusion', the group are set to release a similarly jazzed-up version of 'Live At The Target' in early 2011. It should be well worth the wait. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 4/5 |


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